Having never eaten in a casino restaurant before, not sure exactly what to expect. Will it be posh? Will it be a bit tacky? Will we need to dress up? Will it be a proper restaurant? So it was with some trepidation that we set off to Clary’s Bar & Grill located within The Casino MK which is operated by Apsers Group. There were four us and we’d decided for a pretty low key, smart but casual dress code as we headed through the revolving door inside the casino at Xscape.

The first thing that hits you is the sheer size of the main gaming floor as you head inside – it’s huge, slot machines, roulette tables and more totally assault the senses and you can’t help but be impressed and a little over-awed. Thankfully the restaurant, located just off the main gaming floor, is a lot smaller and quieter. You can see the main gaming floor but a glass partition takes away most of the noise but doesn’t completely cut you off from the atmosphere.

When I say small, it only seats around 40 people, which is actually quite surprising but kind of nice. It was definitely more intimate than we were expecting. So let’s answer a few of those first questions; was it tacky? Nope, absolutely not, the décor was really tasteful and yes it is a proper restaurant. Is it posh? Not really, not to the point that we ever felt uncomfortable. We’d say ‘elegantly modern’ and you don’t have to dress up but again, we’d say ‘smart casual’ works.

So, on to the food. We were presented with our menus and were again surprised by the choice. Eight different starters including a tasting platter to choose from. I went for the Creamed Wild Mushroom Filo Basket and it was really nicely presented and tasted amazing, also not too big and not too small. Another of our party went for the BBQ Pulled Pork Benedict and gave particularly high praise to the hollandaise sauce (always difficult to get right)!

And on to the mains, again a wide range of dishes to choose from at different price points from a burger at £9.00 to fillet steak at £19.00. You can even become a ‘Grill Master’ and cook your steak to your exact liking at your table on a hot marble stone.

In the end we settled on the Pan-Fried Duck Breast (x two), the Duo of Seabass Fillets and the Homemade Beef Lasagne…and we were not disappointed. First off the presentation was fantastic, the vegetables were particularly well thought out, we even had little runner beans wrapped in bacon. The taste was really good, the Lasagne had really high praise.

Did we have room for dessert…of course we did. But here we found one disappointment…no cheese board. We all commented that in a restaurant of this class a cheese board is a must, so hopefully they can add this on, maybe as a special? But we did have the most amazing Oreo Cheesecake, the Lemon Posset and the White Chocolate Crème Brulee, and again, we must give high praise for the presentation, the dusting of cocoa powder creating the Aspers ‘A’ was a nice touch. Each was delicious and again the portion sizes were spot on.

So what did we make of our first casino restaurant experience…’pleasantly surprised’ probably summed it up. Some very good food presented elegantly and enjoyed in really stylish surroundings. We’d definitely go back again and it would be a great place to enjoy as a group for a birthday party or other celebration. You don’t have to hit the gaming floor after your meal, you could just head into the bar for drink, but if you want to try the tables or the slots then it makes for a different end to a very good night out.

For more information go to: http://www.thecasinomk.co.uk/clarys-bar-and-grill.html